Today we barged in to our construction site to show two new friends our work-in-progress. I say “barged” because we overlooked a sign the workers put up on the front door. “Se prohíben los visitantes!” … or words to that effect. We didn’t see the sign until we were on our way out.
It did seem that we were annoying the albañiles this time. We got some scowls, I thought. We are, after all, underfoot whenever we give a 10-cent tour, and they are moving swiftly to complete the job. But then the mood lightened when we inadvertently gave them a sideshow. They saw us clumsily navigating the steep incline that leads to the top — the place where stairs will go. More mirth ensued when they saw us nervously crossing the makeshift bridge that joins two sides of the courtyard. Actually, I stayed behind and let Paul and our two friends go ahead. One worker below watched me to see if I was going to join them. I gestured that I was staying. He kept watching, just in case. There were ropes for balance when we were there on a planned visit. Now, it was just wobbly planks. They effortlessly traverse these paths, in flip flops, every day. Their smiles were of pure amusement.
The other evening we showed the place to other friends, just as the sun was setting. We didn’t realize we’d be intruding on their private time. The work day was over and a half-dozen or more hammocks were strung across some of the rooms. A portable TV was playing. I could hear water splashing in the bathroom. I felt a little bad as we got blank stares from the sides of the hamacas.
So was that sign intended for us? Or for nosy neighbors and curious passersby? I wonder. We have another 10-cent tour planned tomorrow.
Then, on Saturday, at the suggestion of one of our friends, we’ll bring in some trays of meats, veggies, beer and Coke, and offer them a special lunch. It’s traditional to feed the workers, at least once, and last week being el Día del Trabajo, we’re just a little bit late. I think that’s a fine idea, a goodwill offering. We just want to offer some sort of gesture, since we don’t really know them and they don’t really know us. And to thank them for letting us trample their work site when we show off for our new friends.